One thing is for sure--even if there is a contract that ends up being like the tentative agreement referenced above, I think it's going to take a bit more to mend fences between the teachers and the administration.
2. Apparently, a lot of people were unaware that Powerschool is owned by Pearson Systems. Yup. Pearson has been in our district with Powerschool since 2007 (and many, many others too)--and probably earlier with textbooks. The alternatives to Powerschool are also owned by big corporations. I guess the question is (and I don't know)--what kind of data does Pearson get to use and keep about us and our children? What kind of safeguards are there? (And starting this year, I believe grading will also be done in Powerschool.) Powerschool is a *huge* convenience--but based on my facebook feed this afternoon, parents need to be convinced that our data is safe.
3. Riding my bike past the "Pathways Campus" today, I decided I like that name, much much better than the old A2Tech name. It implies that there are multiple ways of getting to the same destination.
4. Please--as you turn your thoughts toward the school year--take my survey and offer some meaningful critiques of the Ann Arbor district's new web site. It's my impression that a lot of stuff that was on the old web site is not on the new web site, but I don't know if that's true, that is really based on some cursory searches that I have done. What do you like and what don't you like? Take the survey!
5. Want to be a guest blogger? Let me know.
6. Back to School Helpline: From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. you can call 734-660-9911.
Now that helpline is truly a great idea--I have often gotten panicked questions from parents in the last few days before school. I hope it works well (in other words, I hope that they have the staffing to handle the call volume). I also hope that the people answering the phones have the correct answers at their fingertips.
|At the end of Rick's Run, 2014. |
I got my son to come with me! Thanks Joel!
7. Let's talk about Rick's Run! It's a fundraiser for Ann Arbor Rec & Ed scholarships, in memory of Rick DeKeon, a favorite PE teacher at Northside Elementary who was also active with Rec & Ed. I ran last year (the inaugural run) and it was at Pioneer, and it was freezing cold. OK, actually, I half ran and half walked, and it really doesn't matter, you can run or walk. It's a little bit earlier this year so it should be a little warmer (October 24th) and I'm signing up! Join me? (Maybe I should form a team...the blogspots?) You can register as a family or an individual right here, and tomorrow (Monday! August 24th) is the last day for a discount. Who's with me?!
[I went searching for the piece I wrote about Rick DeKeon and the Northside naming of the gym in his honor, and now there is a new gym being built over at Northside--so I'm wondering if the new gym will also be named after him.]
8. There is a really interesting lawsuit coming out of New York about how standardized testing can (or can't)--certainly shouldn't!--be used to evaluate teachers.
New York: Controversial teacher evaluation method is on trial--literally--and the judge is not amused
and a Slate piece on why this is a big deal.
9. Also in New York, where about 20% of students opted out of standardized tests, the New York Times reports that school districts will not lose money.
10. John Oliver takes on standardized testing!
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